I was pretty concerned that I wasn’t going to finish a second book in November. I’ve been feeling a bit of reading fatigue, and part of me blames my library for having all of the eBooks that I requested available to me back-to-back. I haven’t held an actual book in a solid month. Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, dating back to My Sister’s Keeper. It’s almost guaranteed that whichever you pick will be a good read that will stop and make you think (with the exception of one that I just felt was unnecessary). Small Great Things is no different.
The Issue of Small Great Things
If you’re not familiar with Ms. Picoult’s writing, she manages to find a hot-button issue and develop a story around it. Small Great Things was actually published in 2016 (not sure why it took me so long to read it). The issue she focuses on is racism in America. With where we are today, this book could not be more relevant.
Small Great Things is told from the perspective of three different main characters. We have Ruth Jefferson, an African-American widow, nurse and mother of Edison who is in high school and top of his class. Turk Bauer is a new father and White Supremacist, married to Brittany who is the daughter of the leader of the White Power Movement. Finally, we have Kennedy McQuarrie who is a wife to an optic surgeon and mother to little Violet, and a public defender.
Turk and Brittany have their baby at the hospital where Ruth works. Their feelings against African-Americans lead them to demand that no black person is to touch their child. Due to complications and circumstances, little Davis Bauer dies while under Ruth’s watch. She’s charged with murder and negligent homicide.
I’m not going to lie. At times reading this book, especially during Turk’s portions, I felt disgusted. To know that there are people in the world who feel the way that his character does…it’s just despicable. I’m not even sure how Jodi Picoult brought herself to write his portions. It was hard for me to read them, and slowed me down just a bit.
Overall, I highly recommend reading Small Great Things. It was poignant and even had a twist I wasn’t expecting. It opens your heart and your eyes to so many perspectives. If you haven’t read it yet, you absolutely should.
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